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EHRA 2021: envisioning the future treatment of heart rhythm disorders

23 to 25 April online

Arrhythmias, General
Atrial Fibrillation

Discover the latest practice-changing research and what’s on the horizon in heart rhythm disorders: presented at EHRA 2021, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The annual congress of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), a branch of the ESC, will be held 23 to 25 April online.

Novel research will be revealed in the scientific abstracts. Discover how season of birth affects health, the impact of losing weight after atrial fibrillation treatment, and the connection between cardiac devices and mental health. In addition: new findings on arrhythmias and cannabis use, pregnancy complications, cancer, and much more.

Plus: a mix of live and on-demand sessions showcasing the hottest topics in arrhythmias, pacing and electrophysiology. Featuring panel discussions, Q&As with the audience, and live ablation sessions broadcast from expert centres throughout Europe.

Not to miss: a session devoted to the use of digital technologies to improve prediction, recognition, and treatment of sudden cardiac arrest – including artificial intelligence, apps, and drones. Professor Isabelle Van Gelder, scientific chair, said: “Patients with sudden cardiac arrest need help within around six minutes to survive. Drones may offer the possibility to quickly deliver a defibrillator to a bystander so the patient’s life can be saved.”

Prevention of sudden cardiac death in athletes is a fast-moving and controversial topic. Experts will provide up to the minute evidence on who should receive screening for potentially lethal heart disorders, and the indications and limitations of defibrillators for sportsmen and sportswomen. “Athletes at risk of a deadly arrhythmia during sports might receive a defibrillator but there are questions around whether it is always needed,” said Professor Van Gelder. “On the one hand, do we implant defibrillators too early? On the other hand, is the heart too sick to continue sports?”

Also highly debated is whether or not obese patients should be required to lose weight before receiving an ablation procedure to treat a cardiac arrhythmia. Professor Van Gelder said: “Losing weight could potentially stop the arrhythmia thereby avoiding the need for ablation. ESC atrial fibrillation guidelines1 advocate weight loss while recognising that the evidence is primarily limited to observational studies and no large randomised trials have been performed. And, not to forget: we all know how difficult it is to lose weight.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of digital technologies to monitor and treat patients at home. The congress will explore how apps and smartwatches can ensure that drugs and devices are delivered safely and effectively. “We can now remotely monitor side effects and fine-tune treatments by monitoring heart rhythm, heart rate, blood pressure, and so on, without having to wait for in-person consultations, an enormous step forward,” said Professor Van Gelder.

Does remote monitoring promote patient empowerment? Get the latest insights during a session on shared decision-making in devices. Also on the agenda: how to help patients cope with anxiety after receiving a shock from an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Professor Van Gelder said: “Anxiety starts when the decision is made to implant an ICD and may increase after receiving a shock which is life-saving but painful. We need more trained nurses or other healthcare professionals to teach patients how to live with a defibrillator and have a good quality of life.”

Great strides have been made in the management of arrhythmias in children and in adults living with congenital heart diseases – hear the most up to date knowledge in this field. Professor Van Gelder said: “More young people with congenital heart disease now survive but over half develop heart rhythm disorders. Imaging techniques and ablation procedures have been developed which provide more effective treatment and better outcomes. Techniques for treating small children have also evolved, with lower complication rates and improved outcomes.”

The EHRA Congress brings together scientists, healthcare professionals and key opinion leaders involved in arrhythmia management around the world. Register as Press now to attend EHRA 2021 and receive press releases from the leading arrhythmias meeting in Europe.



Notes to editor

ESC Press Office
Tel: +33 (0) 7 8531 2036

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1Hindricks G, Potpara T, Nikolaos Dagres N, et al. 2020 ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of atrial fibrillation developed in collaboration with the European Association of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS). Eur Heart J. 2021;42:373–498.


About the European Heart Rhythm Association

The European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) is a branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Its aim is to improve patients’ quality of life and reduce sudden cardiac death by limiting the impact of heart rhythm disturbances. 

About the EHRA Congress  #EHRA2021

EHRA 2021 is the online annual congress of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

About the European Society of Cardiology

The ESC brings together health care professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people to live longer, healthier lives.


Information for journalists about registration for EHRA 2021

EHRA 2021 takes place 23 to 25 April online.

  • Free registration applies only to accredited press.
  • Credentials: A valid press cardor appropriate letter of assignment with proof of three recent published articles (cardiology or health-related or referring to a previous ESC event). Read the ESC media and embargo policy.
  • The ESC Press Office will verify the documents and confirm by email that your press accreditation is valid.
  • The ESC Press Office decision is final regarding all press registration requests.